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Fractal provides a programmatic API that allows you to write custom commands, tie it into your build tools or help with integrating your component library into your production site or application.

If you’ve created a project settings file for your project then you have already interacted with the Fractal API.

The Fractal API docs are currently very much a work in progress. Keep checking back regularly for updates!

Obtaining a Fractal instance

All API methods are called on an instance of Fractal or one of the objects it exposes. To get a new instance of Fractal, first require the @frctl/fractal module and then call the .create() method on it. In one line that looks like this:

const fractal = require('@frctl/fractal').create();

You can then call API methods on this fractal instance (or on the objects it exposes) like so:

// set the project title
fractal.set('project.title', 'My New Project');

See the individual API documentation pages for full details of available properties and methods.

Initial load & parse

Before you can access data about any components or documentation pages via the API, you need to first call the fractal.load() method to tell Fractal to perform an initial parse of the relevant filesystem directories. This method is asynchronous and returns a Promise:

fractal.load().then(() => {

    // render a component with a custom set of context data
    fractal.components.render('@button', {
        text: 'Click here',
        style: 'primary-action'
    }).then(html => {


This method is called behind the scenes when creating new development server instances or running CLI commands.